Cheltenham Jazz Festival will go ahead as a virtual one-day festival to be streamed for free on 9 May 2020 via Cheltenham Festivals YouTube channel.
Cheltenham Jazz Festival @ Home will recreate the essence of the Festival for a unique one-day celebration, with a selection of some of the top acts set to perform at this year’s Jazz Festival.
The Festival will feature exclusive sets from Irish singer-songwriter Imelda May; cultural pioneer Nitin Sawhney; award-winning trumpeter Laura Jurd; ambient improvising trio Chris Mapp and Stillefelt, the 16-piece Electric Lady Big Band, the TC Quartet ft Denny Ilett; soul/rocker Roachford; a tribute to Afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen by Dele Sosimi; and Showcase sessions with two rising stars from last year’s Free Stage: Rosie Tee and Amahla. Throughout the day the best of the Festival’s The Henry Westons Sessions, filmed over the past seven years, will also be streamed. Sponsored by partners Westons Cider and curated by Cheltenham Jazz Festival, these intimate performances have been filmed behind the scenes at the Festival and feature an eclectic mix of established artists and emerging talent.
BBC Four have also joined in the celebration by making the Jazz 625 broadcast created at last year’s Festival available to view for 21 days from 8 May. This was the first live BBC black and white TV programme broadcast since the 1970s, reviving the iconic 1960s BBC show Jazz 625 for one night only. Broadcast live from Cheltenham, it featured a house band – led by pianist Robert Mitchell – with special guests including Joshua Redman, Jean Toussaint, Shirley Tetteh, Jacqui Dankworth and Gregory Porter. And an exclusive recorded performance from legendary Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts.
We’d like to say a huge thanks to all of the artists who have supported us in making this happen. To be able to create a virtual Festival in three weeks has been amazing. We are delighted that we can offer a flavour of the Festival to those who, like us were disappointed by the cancellation due to COVID 19 and hope that Jazz lovers join us on their smartphone, smart TV or laptop and on BBC Radio 2 from 3pm on Saturday 9 May as part of their Bank Holiday weekend plans.